By By Jill D. O’Bryant/MUW
COLUMBUS – Brenda Dickey, assistant professor of education at Mississippi University for Women, understands the concept of serving others. She and her family did just that when they were missionaries in Japan for 30 years.
She and her husband Jim lived and worked with the Japanese people in a cross-cultural setting year-round through a large world mission organization, the Assemblies of God World Missions. They also learned to speak Japanese fluently.
While in Japan, Dickey served as educational consultant for the Assemblies of God World Missions organization and served as a member of the Asian Educational Resource Consortium, which provides educational resources to all mission organization families living and working in Asia.
“We began Christian churches, developed cross-cultural educational programs and began an English school for students to learn English as a second language,” Dickey said.
They also raised their daughter Karen, who is now 25, in Japan.
“Our daughter was raised in Japan until she completed high school, when we returned to the states in 2004 to become stateside-based,” she said.
Because of her experiences as both a foreign missionary and an educator, cultural diversity and understanding are topics that are dear to her heart.
“The needs of the world economically, socially and educationally are becoming more and more connected to local communities in the United States,” Dickey said. “Multiculturalism and cultural diversity in schools, businesses and communities require an understanding of diverse cultural communication. Cultural understanding and communication is necessary in the arena of education, jobs and economic growth in the world of globalization.
Dickey, who joined the MUW faculty this fall, has experience teaching in both public and private schools in Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. Most recently, she taught at Mississippi College in the International Department teaching English as a second language to foreign students.